The Weinstein Company Picks Up Sundance's The Tillman Story
Pat Tillman was big news for much of his life, from his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals to his "heroic" death in Iraq to his family's protests that his death wasn't so heroic, and the U.S. government used him as a propaganda tool. Tillman's life was obvious fodder for a documentary, and that documentary was an obvious candidate for a theatrical release even before it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to warm reviews.
Now the Weinstein Company has taken the bait-- Indiewire reported last Friday that the company picked up Amir Bar-Lev's The Tillman Story, which documents Tillman's military service, the Congressional investigation into his death, and both the government and the Tillman family's conflicting reports of his death.
Bar-Lev told IndieWire in a Sundance interview, "The family’s mission was to keep Pat a human being, not a symbol – and we made it our first order of business in storytelling.” I wasn't able to catch The Tillman Story at Sundance but heard good things from everyone who did; I was hoping someone would snag the film so I could see it later, but I admit, the Weinsteins weren't my first guess. The studio also picked up Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine at the festival, but given their much-publicized money troubles, it's unclear exactly when we'll be able to see either of these films.
The Tillman Story is time sensitive too-- the further we get away from Tillman's NFL stardom and death, the less likely the film is to draw an audience. Hopefully the Weinsteins can marshal whatever resources they have left to get this movie out there.
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